I was expecting to hear people talking when I exited the bathroom but I heard no sound. I saw Oge on the bed with her phone.
“Who was on the door?” I asked entering the room. Just then I saw Precious sitting on my reading table staring at me. I was surprised seeing her. I didn’t know she was back not to talk of expecting her in my house. As a matter of fact, she told me she hasn’t made up her mind on when to come back just a day before.
“Precious? When did you come back?” I asked breaking the tensed atmosphere in the room.
She didn’t say a word to me rather she kept staring at me tears forming in her eyes. After a while of not saying anything, she stood up and picked her bag. Turning to Oge she said.
“I’m going to leave the two of you to continue whatever you were doing. But let me warn you for the very last time. Don’t come back here again. He is my boyfriend and I can’t share him with you”
“Did you just warn me? Do you think I’m still in first year? Lemme tell you, nothing is happening between us yet so don’t start fretting. I didn’t know you guys where still together. No wonder he has been acting all good boy. But let me tell you, I’m no longer that little innocent girl you scared away in first year. I have come to stay. Consider it that I’m taking back what is mine” she said standing from the bed and walking towards Precious.
“Hey! You guys should stop ok. Precious sit down and you Oge sit back down” I said coming between Oge who was already approaching Precious.
“Don’t tell me to sit down. Who does she think she is? You think you are the only one from a rich family? I’m from one too. Is it because I succumbed to her threat in first year? The truth is that I have been waiting for this day to come. I have been waiting for this moment to take back what is mine.” Oge said with a raised voice.
Precious just stood at the door looking at her. She was just calm. Oge was fuming. I managed to calm Oge down and she went back to the bed. While I took Precious out. I had a lot of questions to ask the both of them, but I needed to get the two of them out of each other’s sight.
“When did you come back and why didn’t you call to let me know you are coming?” I asked Precious when we were outside.
She ignored me and kept walking down.
“I’m talking to you” I said dragging her back gently.
She turned and said nothing. After looking at me for some seconds she dragged her hand off mine, turned and started walking down again.
“Fine, if this is the way you want it then its ok” I said as we walked side by side down.
When we got to the junction, I hailed a cab for her but she told the cab to leave.
“You want to trek down to school?”
“Is this what you have been doing behind my back?” she asked ignoring my question.
“Thought you didn’t want to talk to me”
“Why that girl of all girls?” she asked with her teary eyes.
“Precious we have a lot to talk about. But before then I want you to go back to your hostel and rest. I will come around later. And for the records, there is nothing going on between us.”
“Don’t take me for a fool. Nothing is going on between the both of you and she said all that? What do you think I am, a kid?”
“We are in public, let’s talk about this later. And don’t raise your voice at me in public again for any reason whatsoever” I said and led her to a cab that just discharged its passenger. I paid the cab man and went back to my house.
“What was the meaning of all those things you said to Precious” I asked Oge immediately I entered my room.
“You heard it as it sounds” she said not looking up from her phone.
“Oge I want you to tell me the truth, what happened between you and Precious when we were in first year. Was she the cause of our break-up? What is it about threat that you just said? Did she threaten you back then?” I asked sitting beside her on the bed.
“Purity, she is your girlfriend, if you need answers go and ask her.” She said and stood up from the bed heading to the bathroom. After bathing she came out and dressed up ready to leave. I saw her off and came back to think.
I needed answers.
“Did Precious threaten Oge to leave me in our first year?”
“Was that why Oge said that she already left before I broke off the relationship?”
“Why would Precious threaten her while she already told me that she had a boyfriend then?”
“And what does Oge mean by saying she is back to take what belongs to her?”
I kept rolling on my thoughts. I couldn’t think of anything as my mind was just scattered. I sat up on the bed still thinking. I didn’t know what to do when I had so much to think about.
I went to my fridge and poured a cup full of Mc Dowel, downed it in two gulps and went back to the bed to know if sleep could take over me. I expected the drink to start taking effect after a while but it wasn’t even like I took anything. I needed to drink to be able to think at least in one direction for a moment.
I dressed up, picked my wallet from my table and left for school. I located an empty space at a corner inside 11:45 bar and ordered for some bottles of Harp beer.
Within an hour I took five bottles of harp but my mind was still not at rest. I ordered for another three bottles making it eight bottles.
Half way down the seventh bottle, I was already drunk but still a little conscious of the environment. I noticed a lady, beautiful, not so endowed, on an eye glass I suspected to be medicated with a face cap and a beautiful smile walking towards me with a tray of food.
“Hi! Can I join you if you don’t mind?” she asked flashing a beautiful and charming smile.
“Yea, sure. Make yourself comfortable” I replied taking a sip from my cup.
She settled into the sit opposite mine in the table and started munching her food while I surveyed her with my drunken eyes.
“Oh! My bad, please come and join me” she said with that smile still plastered on her face.
“Don’t worry, enjoy” I smiled back.
“Wow! You must be good with bottles to still be able to stand on the seventh bottle” she said looking at the bottles and back to my face.
“You think so? What makes you think that I’m good” I asked dropping my cup on the table.
“I know some guys that will sleep off on their second bottle” she answered smiling. Her smile is just something else. I don’t know if it was my drunken mind that was telling me that.
“But don’t you think you have had enough already?” she continued.
I laughed and looked at her. She held my gaze, staring me in the eyes still with her smile.
“Can you drink?” I asked ignoring her question.
“Yes I can, if I’m in the mood to. But just know that you haven’t answered my question smart boy” she replied laughing.
The sound of her laughter was just as beautiful as her smile.
“Like what puts you in the mood to drink?”
“I drink when I’m sad, when I’m with friends and want to go wild. But I drink mostly when I get emotionally messed up” she said taking a spoon full of rice into her mouth. I kept mute watching her chew the food gently like nothing worries her.
“So how often do you get emotionally messed up? Like…. Ok let me rephrase. Have you ever been emotionally messed up?” I asked.
“Who has not?” she replied laughing. “Yes I have been but, that’s a very long time ago”
We kept talking while she ate. I opened the last bottle on the table and poured some into my cup. I watched as she finished her food, pushed the tray aside and picked a saviet to wipe her lips.
After she did those after the meal rituals, she stretched her hand and carried my cup. In one swift gulp she emptied the cup and dropped it back to my bewilderment.
“You never cared to invite me to drink with you so I am taking it by force” she said with her smile not leaving her face.
She asked the bar man for another glass cup and poured a cup full for herself. She knocked her cup to mine and said “cheers” raising her own up.
“Now we are drinking together, now we are friends so tell me, who messed you up emotionally?what is it that borders you?”
“What makes you think that I’m bordered or messed up emotionally? Do I look like someone that can be messed up by anybody?” I asked laughing.
The alcohol was already taking its toll on me but I still managed to control myself.
“Nobody is above being messed up emotionally. Most times we don’t ask for it but it comes” she replied sipping from her cup.
“Have you ever been in love? I mean like have you ever loved someone?” I asked. The reason for asking her that question, I don’t know. I was just asking her anything that crossed my mind.
“Yup I have, but that was a long time ago, why?” she retorted.
“Nothing, just a random question” I replied.
“Now tell me, what is it that is eating you up making you take solace in drinking?” she asked looking at me.
“My story is kinda complicated and messed up in itself, so let me not bother you with the long epistle of my complicated story”
“I have all the time in the world and I think I’m intelligent enough to understand your complicated story so give me a trial” she said.
I laughed when she said that and pulled out my phone from my pocket. That was the last thing I remembered.
I woke up with a splitting headache. The rays from the yellow bulb pierced through my eyes. I winced, shutting my eyes. I couldn’t remember having a yellow bulb in my room. I rolled over burying my face to the pillow. My head was aching so badly like it was being hit with a hammer.
I heard a click of the switch and opened my eyes a little from the pillow to notice that the light has been switched off.
“My head hurts” I said turning around to see Shania standing beside the bed. A bottle of cold water and two tablets of aspirin in her hand stretched out to me.
“Why won’t it hurt? Idiot” she cursed handing over the water and drug. This will help with the headache. I collected the water and drug from her and gulped it down. I took another deep gulp from the bottle before handing it back to her. She collected it and without another word she went back to the kitchen.
I had my trouser and stockings on but no belt, shirt or singlet. I couldn’t remember what happened or how I got to Shania’s house. All I could remember was sitting with a girl in 11:45. I can’t remember her face or name if she told me. I stood up and went to the kitchen.
“Go back to bed, food will soon be ready” she said when she heard my footstep.
“What’s up, how did I manage to get here? I asked ignoring her earlier statement.
“You can’t remember right?” she asked still not turning around.
“Yup” I replied picking a slice of plantain from the sieve on the sink.
“Then leave it that way and let me not see your hand inside that sieve again, idiot” she said pointing the spoon at me.
I tiptoed and hugged her from behind before she could turn. “Tell me now, why you dey vex for me? Ok I’m sorry for drinking too much. Just tell me what happened”
“First of all go and wash your mouth, your breath could kill an infant. Check for a brush on the drawer below my dressing table”
I know I had a bad breath as a result of the alcohol I took but for her to tell me really made it sink. I picked the brush and headed to the bathroom. After I brushed, I had my bath before coming out. Surprisingly I have not ask about my phone since I woke up.
“Do you know where I kept my phone?”
“Check it inside that bag on the dressing table” she replied from the kitchen.
I switched on my phone when I collected it. Immediately after it loaded, I got three sms messages and some whatsapp messages. I clicked on the messages. Two were from Precious and one from Oge. Immediately the events of the previous day started rushing back.
“Are you still coming around? I’m waiting”
“Your number is switched off, call me when you get this message?” these were the two messages from Precious.
“I’m sorry about this morning, the way I reacted and the way I left. I know I owe you some explanations and I promise to tell you everything when we see. I loved you Purity and still do” this was the message from Oge.
I closed the messages and checked my call log. Shania was the number I called last. How come? I couldn’t remember calling her or what we talked about. I checked for the call details and saw that the call lasted for one minute and thirty five seconds.
I checked my whatsapp messages and replied those that I could. Precious also left a couple of whatsapp messages for me also with Cindy. I was about to charge the phone when Cindy’s call entered. With a long hiss, I busied the call and switched it off.
I was on the bed going through a magazine and half thinking about Oge and Precious when Shania served the food. All these while, I have been silly, not noticing what she was putting on. She was on a big pink polo with a Playboy Bunny drawn in front. Her boo*bs juggled as she walked with her Tips sticking out.
“You look hot in that top” I said smiling.
“Idiot come down let’s eat” she cursed placing the tray on the floor.
“Ah! Ah! Thought I’ve apologized, why are you still cursing me?
I did the whole talking while we ate. She didn’t reply any of my questions or talk to me without prefixing or suffixing idiot to it. At a point I had to give up while we ate in silence.
After clearing the dishes, I laid back on the bed while she went to the bathroom. When I heard the shower running, images of the last time resurfaced in my mind. I was tempted to Unclothe and head to the bathroom but with this her present mood, she might just pull my di*ck off. I respected myself and relaxed back on the bed.
Fifteen minutes later, she came out from the bathroom stack Unclad.
“Hey must you always walk out from the bathroom like this?” I asked.
“What business of yours is it?” she retorted. And just when I thought that she has given up on cursing me, she completed her earlier statement with “idiot”.
I heaved a big sigh of defeat and dragged my attention off her body back to the mag I was reading.
After she wore her undies, she dragged a seat close to the bed and after staring at me for a while that lasted like eternity, she cleared her throat and started.
“Purity what is wrong with you?”
“Nothing, I’m fine” I replied sitting up on the bed.
“Look at yourself in the mirror, go on” she said pointing to her dressing table. “You look like something dragged in by a cart. What is the problem? I was so f**cking ashamed when I met you yesterday. All thanks to that Good Samaritan girl that covered you up if not, you would have disgraced yourself to heaven and back. This is not the you that I know. Now I need you to talk to me like a sister, like a friend, what is the problem? What pushed you to drinking that much? If not for one thing, I would have called your mum. What is it? Do you know that this is final year? Do you think you are going to graduate if you continue like this? See I need explanations, if not, I’m going to call your mum here and now” she said with a note of finality.
“See you don’t have to do that. What happened yesterday was a mistake. Yesterday was just one of those days one has to do what he doesn’t do on a normal day to get some things off his mind. I’m sorry you met me in that state, it won’t happen again ok?”
“See that is not what I want to hear. Tell me what pushed you that far”
“Shania it is a little bit complicated ok? Let’s just leave it”
“No we ain’tgonna leave it. Let’s get it ‘uncomplicated’ now”
“Ok, but before then, tell me what happened yesterday and how I got here”
“You called me around 6pm yesterday to come to 11:45. I was in town where I went to pick a delivery so I decided to drive straight to 45. When I got there, a girl saw me looking around and signaled to me. She asked if I’m Shania. It was when she asked that I saw you with a face cap relaxed back on the seat beside her sleeping. The face cap covered your face so well that if I didn’t know you I wouldn’t have recognized you.
Together we guided you to the car before she left. I was so embarrassed seeing you in that state. I drove you back here because taking you to your house would have been very difficult. What were you thinking? Believe me, if it wasn’t for that girl, you would have been ransacked there. Why would you do such a thing?”
After I listened to her narrate everything, I felt very bad and ashamed. “Do you know the girl or did she leave her contact?” I asked.
“Nope but that is her cap” she said pointing to a cap on the table which I didn’t even notice all those while.
“She said she will collect it from you if you guys ever met again. Now that I have told you how you got here, can you now tell me what happened?”
“I’m very sorry. I feel so ashamed of myself right now”
“There will be time for self-pity, certainly not now”
“Yesterday was just a bad day for me. I don’t know how to explain it to you”
“Explain it anyhow”
“Ok. There is this girl I had something with when I was in first year………..”
I carefully avoided the party and sleeping with Cindy in my story. After I narrated the whole story, she heaved a sigh and stood up pacing around the room.
“So this is why you had to drink yourself to stupor yesterday? Fine tell me, have you figured out a solution to your so called problem? Since the only succor you felt you could run to was drinking, have you thought out anything?” She asked.
“I’m sorry” I replied out of shame.
After pacing around for a while, she climbed to the bed and sat beside me. She stared at me for a while before she said.
“Purity I understand how you feel. But if you start drinking when you have little issues, what will happen when bigger issues comes?Moreover, this is not an issue. You should have simply come to me instead of the other way round”
“I’m sorry” I said looking away.
“Ok this is what I think you should do. You need to take a break from all these girls. You need a time out to think. I know so many things are going through your mind now but enough is enough. You need a break. Remember, you have your studies and nobody is ever going to listen to stories if you don’t make good grades. Now it is time for you to determine what you want. But whatever you are deciding just know that your academics is the first and most important thing, every other thing is secondary and a bit irrelevant for now. Decide wisely”
I felt a little relieved after we talked though I still had some thoughts running through my mind. I still need to know what happened between Oge and Precious in our first year. I still needed answers to some questions.
I stayed with Shania throughout the day and left later in the evening. She offered to drop me off but I declined. I went home straight. Just like Shania said, I needed time. I thought so much into the night; and the next morning, I already made up my mind on what to do.